No Easy Answers

Friday, April 21, 2006

Will SCOTUS Revisit "No Death Sentence for Minors" (Roper) case?

The state of Alabama has filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in a murder case, asking the Supreme Court of the United States to revisit its 5-4 holding inRoper v. Simmons, 543 US 551 (2005), that the death penalty is unconstitutional when the criminal was a minor at the time the act was committed, that is, under the age of eighteen.

Hat tip to ScotusBlog for a good summary of the legal background.

The case that may result in a reversal or nuancing of Roper is Alabama v. Adams, where a 17 year old miscreant murdered a pregnant woman in her own home, after raping her, and sending the husband out to an ATM to get cash. The petition for certiorari has a brief recapitulation of the crime, and urges that some 17 year olds, and certainly Adams, should suffer the death penalty for their criminal acts.

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